Pharmacy Technician Programs in Huntsville, AL
The role of the pharmacy technician in Alabama has always been an important one in any pharmacy setting, but in recent years that role has been expanded, and now often includes participation in vaccination clinics, wellness checkups and more, in addition to helping to fill prescriptions and dispense drugs.
Calhoun Community College, Tennessee College of Applied Technology, Innovative Pharmacy Solution and Reliant Health Care Center all offer pharmacy technician programs and are in close proximity to Huntsville.
We review their college offering along with what the state requirements are for both certification and licensure and how much you can expect to make as an entry-level pharmacy technician working in Huntsville, Al.
Let's get started.
Pharmacy Technician State Requirements
Unlike many other states, Alabama does not mandate that a pharmacy technician achieve formal certification via one of the national exams - the PTCB or the ExCPT.
State law does mandate however that pharmacy techs be licensed by the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy.
To obtain licensing, candidates must be over the age of 17, a US citizen and pass a criminal background check administered by the state. They must also pay $104 in noon-refundable fees.
Once licensed, pharmacy techs must work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist at all times, and commit to completing six hours of continuing education every 24 months.
Pharmacy Technician Programs in Huntsville
While not mandated for licensing, attending a pharmacy technician school and obtaining certification will help new pharmacy techs secure higher paying, more advanced positions in many cases, and many employers, both in retail and clinical settings, prefer to hire certified pharmacy technicians regardless of state regulations.
There are a number of options available to Huntsville residents considering attending a program. Each of them offers something slightly different, and some may be better suited to an individual's needs than others, especially when it comes to costs, class schedules and acceptance of financial aid, among other variables.
For these reasons, it pays to do your homework before choosing the school that is right for you.
Here we are going to take a closer look at the top pharmacy technician schools in Huntsville to help you get that essential research started.
Calhoun Community College
Program: Pharmacy Technician Certificate
102 Wynn Dr NW
Huntsville, AL, 35805
Calhoun Community College offers a comprehensive 50 class hour Pharmacy Technician Certificate program that is designed to give students the knowledge, and practical hands-on lab experience needed to help them pass either the PTCB or ExCPT certification exams.
This flexible course can be taken in one of two ways: either in person on campus or as a self-directed six-month online course.
Those choosing to take classes in person on campus will complete their studies in 3 months of evening classes that meet twice-weekly. They will receive both classroom and lab instruction and be offered the chance to complete a 200-hour externship with a local employer arranged by the school.
The online option must be completed within six months, with students receiving virtual instruction for practical work. To gain additional hands-on experience, they may also participate in the externship program.
The cost of the online only program is higher than that of in-person instruction on campus, and must be paid in cash in full prior to graduation. In person students, while unable to use traditional federal financial aid to fund their studies, may be able to obtain a grant under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to help pay for the course.
Tennessee College of Applied Technology
Program: Pharmacy Technology Certificate
P.O. Box 614
1233 East College Street
Pulaski, TN 38478
For students willing to cross state lines and travel to Pulaski, TN from Hunstsville, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology offers a very comprehensive, 12 month, full time on campus Pharmacy Technology program that offers students not just the knowledge needed to pass the PTCE exam as administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, but also to work in the newer fields opening up to pharmacy technicians, including vaccination services.
In addition to comprehensive classroom training, students complete external training with local employers in both retail and clinical pharmacy settings. At the completion of the program students are given additional coaching before taking the PTCE, the cost of which is included in the program tuition fees.
To enroll, students must be high school graduates or hold a GED and be able to provide a clean background check. Traditional financial aid is available to cover the costs of the program.
Innovative Pharmacy Solution
Program: Pharmacy Technician Training Program
The ten week, PTCB certified pharmacy technician program from Innovative Pharmacy Solution is offered to students living in rural and educationally underserved areas across the world, including to eligible students living in Huntsville. The program is delivered completely online and includes a mix of recorded learning modules and live lectures.
The course, which students can, for the most part, complete on their own schedule, is designed to run for less than three months, covers all the knowledge needed to pass the PTCB certification exam and obtain an entry level position as a pharmacy tech.
Those interested in the program are asked to contact the school to determine their eligibility and potential costs. Any awards they are entitled to in the form of grants and aid will be discussed at that time, as well as options for employment assistance once the program has been completed.
Reliant Health Care Center
Program: Pharmacy Technology Certificate Program
1931 Central Pkwy SW Unit F
Decatur, AL 35601
What Is the Salary for a Huntsville Pharmacy Technician?
Before investing time, effort and money into attending a pharmacy technician school in any student will be interested in learning what kind of return they will get on those investments in terms of salary.
The most recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that pharmacy technicians working in the Huntsville area average higher salaries than are usual for the state of Alabama as a whole.
In 2021 pharmacy techs averaged annual salaries of between $36,540 and $46,150 in Huntsville, AL, versus $30,030 to $38,830 across the rest of the state.
According to Glassdoor the starting wage for an entry-level pharmacy technician without any prior experience is in the low to mid $14/hour range in Huntsville, a certified pharmacy technician (CPhT) earns $18hr while the highest salary paid is approx. $24/hr.